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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The use of professional time in relation to case content and services rendered : an exploratory analysis based on a representative group of cases carried by the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, and the Agency Time Study of June, 1955. Cornwall, Charlotte Elizabeth

Abstract

While it is generally accepted that basic child welfare services are essential, insufficient attention has yet been granted to the problems of (a) the shortage of professionally qualified social workers in relation to the many types of need, (b) making the best use of professional personnel in relation to specific job content, (c) setting up criteria on priority indications for the different fields of social work, which, in a children's agency alone can be separated into many categories. As an approach to some of these patterns, a study was devised to review the main branches of the Vancouver Children's Aid Society caseload, using an administrative ''time study" made in 1955 as a base. Aiming at a group of cases representative of an average worker's share of responsibility, cases were selected proportionately from five main areas, (a) family cases, (including services to unmarried mothers), (b) foster homes, (c) adoptive applicants, (d) children in care, and (e) children on adoption probation. (1) Visits and interviews carried out in one month (June 1955) on behalf of these clients, are tabulated and compared with those undertaken by the "average worker" in the agency time study, (2) service rendered is qualitatively rated for each ease, and (3) case illustrations are employed as a further aid to evaluation. In a summary assessment, (4) the relation of availability of worker-time to the adequacy of service is examined. Using a threefold rating of service, it is estimated that in the 83 sample cases adequate or fair service was given in 66 cases. The quality of service in 45 cases was judged to be not affected by lack of worker-time, although it was an important cause of limitation of service in the remaining 38. The proportion of total time revealed as spent on visits and interviews, 23 - 28 percent, is similar to that of the few other agencies which have studied this matter, but must be regarded as low if direct service to clients is considered to be the chief responsibility of qualified social workers. Possible methods of increasing time spent on visits and interviews are suggested, and subjects requiring further research are indicated.

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